Members of Van's Chamber of Commerce and the Lake Van Activists Foundation have set out on a 430-kilometer walk to draw attention to increasing pollution in Lake Van. With the motto "Take a step for Lake Van," the volunteers started their walk from Van's İpekyolu district. Starting the journey with the first light of day on Sunday morning, the volunteers covered 30 kilometers in seven hours and reached Edremit district of Van.
Speaking at the end of the first day of their journey, Erdoğan Özel, the president of the Lake Van Activists Foundation, said they plan to finish their journey in 12 days by walking 40 kilometers a day.
"In the last couple of years, the pollution level of Lake Van has been on the rise. Our aim is to draw attention to the pollution and make our voices heard. We expect more and more people to join us as we get close to the lake," Özel continued.
Being the largest lake in Turkey, Lake Van is located in the far east of the provinces of Van and Bitlis. It is a saline soda lake, receiving water from numerous small streams that descend from the surrounding mountains. In the last couple of years, the popularity of Lake Van increased with a touristic train line from Ankara and beaches opened up on the shores of the lake. The lake is also popular among divers as the underwater riches of the lake lure explorers to the region.